The CATCH: In Support of Mental Health Awareness

The March 2024 CATCH Is Awarded to Ladoya Mayfield, CHW, MS, DrPHc, Oncology Patient Navigator With Susan G. Komen

March 2024 Vol 15, No 3 —March 14, 2024

Ladoya Mayfield, CHW, MS, DrPHc, Oncology Patient Navigation, Susan G. Komen

Ladoya utilized her specialized expertise in health promotion and disease prevention of underserved, low-income, and vulnerable populations.

—Toni Lee
Senior Manager, Patient Navigation, Susan G. Komen

A CATCH is a navigation success story where a navigation tactic improved a patient’s situation. The CATCH Initiative, short for Catching & Addressing Threats to Care & Health, tracks and acknowledges positive outcomes of navigation tactics.


Background: This oncology patient navigator identified and alleviated several barriers to care during a distress screening assessment, including suicidal ideations for a single mom with breast cancer.

The Incident: Ladoya, oncology patient navigator, met with a 47-year-old African American single mom undergoing treatment for her breast cancer. The patient was found to have multiple challenges and barriers to care, including financial insecurity, homelessness, lack of insurance, and suicidal ideations.

The CATCH (Intervention): While assessing the patient, Ladoya identified an imminent risk for self-harm with this patient. Recognizing the severity of potential harm, the patient navigator promptly connected the patient with a helpline clinical supervisor, collaborated with a local suicide organization, and provided supplementary de-escalation resources. Simultaneously, efforts were made to expedite insurance coverage, provide mental health support and housing resources to address the multitude of barriers to the care of the patient.

Through her patient navigator’s proactive interventions, this patient was able to secure insurance approval decreasing financial burden, housing, and cancer-related distress, as well as suicide support. These efforts were secured so the patient could continue to adhere to her treatment plan.

The Importance of the CATCH

Receiving a cancer diagnosis while also dealing with additional struggles, such as homelessness and financial insecurity, can place insurmountable stress on an already overwhelmed patient. According to McFarland and colleagues, “Suicide rates among cancer patients are generally thought to be twice as high as that of the general population.”1

Mental health should be assessed at the beginning and throughout a patient’s cancer journey as it can fluctuate at different touchpoints. This navigator relied on her experience, training, and skills to correctly and timely identify someone struggling with suicidal ideations and connected her with the right resources. This CATCH demonstrates the value and impact of navigation on patient outcomes not only clinically but mentally as well. Treating the patient holistically and advocating for their needs are essential to the role of navigation, which Ladoya efficiently demonstrated with compassion.


  1. McFarland DC, Walsh L, Napolitano S, et al. Suicide in patients with cancer: identifying the risk factors. Oncology (Williston Park). 2019;33:221-226.

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Last modified: March 20, 2024

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